Why you should be using einkorn flour in your bread

Einkorn flour is kind of a stealth superfood, as it has yet to gain the same kind of buzz that surrounds ancient grains in general. According to Spruce Eats, einkorn is the oldest grain known to agriculture. It has evidently been cultivated for over 5,000 years — we know this because Otzi the Ice Man, the most famous mummy since King Tut, had an einkorn pancake for his very last breakfast. Einkorn is a German word that translates to "one grain" (via Jovial Foods), which refers to the fact that it only has one grain attached to each stem as opposed to the four grains per stem characteristic of other types of wheat. 

Einkorn is not to be confused with einhorn, which is the German word for unicorn (via Collins Dictionary). Einkorn flour will not make your bread sparkly and rainbow-colored, but it does provide nutritional value as well as adding its own unique nutty, toasty flavor.

Health benefits of einkorn flour

Einkorn flour is GMO-free and is loaded with the essential nutrients zinc, iron, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and A. Bread made with einkorn flour is also high in antioxidants including carotenoids and lutein and has 30 percent more protein and 30 percent less starch than bread made from standard wheat flour. What's more, it's also high in fiber.

The one thing einkorn flour isn't, is gluten-free, since einkorn wheat is still wheat. It does lack some of the proteins contained in modern wheat, so it could be safe for those who are merely gluten-sensitive. If you have celiac disease or require an entirely gluten-free diet, though, you will still need to avoid einkorn flour.

How to bake bread with Einkorn flour

Einkorn.com states that einkorn flour can be substituted for all-purpose or wheat flour on a one-to-one basis in quick bread recipes as well as in recipes for pancakes, waffles, and muffins. If you're making yeast bread, however, you'll need to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/3. This only applies to actual pourable liquid like milk or water — no need to perform complex calculations trying to reduce the volume of eggs or melted butter.

One thing you probably won't mind reducing, though, is the time it takes to knead bread made with einkorn flour. As the gluten it contains is different than that found in modern flours, it doesn't need to be kneaded nearly as long. Einkorn.com suggests that four minutes in the mixer on low should do the trick.